Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 9, 2004
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The need for better control of foodborne pathogens has been paramount in recent years. Microorganisms, previously unknown, or not known to be causes of foodborne illness, have recently been linked with documented outbreaks of illness. These food safety concerns are magnified because of consumer preferences for minimally processed foods that offer convenience in availability and preparation. One of the most effective strategies for control of foodborne pathogens is the use of heat. Researchers have reported that the sub-lethal heat treatment may in fact render surviving organisms more resistant to subsequent homologous or heterologous physical microbiocidal intervention treatments, thereby compromising the microbiological safety of foods. Therefore, efficiencies and efficacies of physical-based control techniques must be assessed in order to assure the microbiological safety of refrigerated, minimally processed foods. Currently, the mechanisms of stress responses and cross protection remain to be elucidated at the cellular and molecular levels. Researchers can use the available information from gene sequence analyses to identify target genes or encoded proteins perceived to play a role in microbial stress responses. Certainly, an increased understanding of the mechanism and regulation of the way in which the 'stress adaptation' protective mechanisms are triggered and proceed will offer methodical solutions to pathogen control. This should lead to increased effective design of novel physical inactivation strategies.